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White-headed Buffalo Weaver

Dinenellia dinemelli


Ploceidae, weaver family

Conservation Status:

Least concern, IUCN


East Africa


Dry brush and acacia thickets


Weavers are often called the architects of the bird world because of the intricately woven nests of some species. In the case of the buffalo weavers, they build bulky nests with separate compartments for more than one pair of nesting birds. A weaver condo!

This weaver is a striking bird with white head, bright orange-red upper and under tail-coverts and white wing patches. Back, wings, and tail are dusky brown in northern birds and black in southern areas. Length is about 7 inches. Sexes are alike. There is no difference between breeding and non-breeding plumage.

Like most weavers, males build their nests before finding a partner and use the nest to entice a female. Buffalo weavers nest in open, loose colonies. The nest is built high in a tree in a forking branches. It is a large, rather untidy structure of twigs and coarse grasses, the short tubular entrance being on the bottom. When a female accepts the male’s advances, she will line the interior with soft materials. Clutch size ranges from 3-5 eggs. Incubation lasts 14 days and the young, fed mostly on insects and small seeds, fledge in about 3 weeks.

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